On-line vs. Printed Newsletters (long)
William H. Herron III
wherron at sprintmail.com
Mon Feb 10 18:55:47 PST 1997
Disclaimer #1: My views, in no way, reflect the views of the Ansteorran
Kingdom Chronicler, the Kingdom of Ansteorra, the SCA, Inc., or anyone
else but me. Please attempt to overlook the fact that I work in the
Black Star's office. (Ignore the man behind the curtain!)
As most of you may know, the Black Star became (to my knowledge) the
first Kingdom Newsletter to be reproduced online. Our Kingdom
Chronicler (who happens to be my mundane landlord, in the interest of
disclosure) was entirely pleased with himself for this accomplishment.
As he is very good at his work, we had clean, clear, and concise
publication: an online product that everyone could refer to, within or
without the SCA.
Then the complaints started. One group called to complain that their
event announcement was online, and that they didn't give permission for
that. Another local seneschal called to say that she didn't want her
address or phone number published on-line. And so on, and so on.
Please understand that, in our current environment here in the Black
Star, we are either going to publish >every< event announcement or >no<
event announcements on the Web site. In addition, we are either going
to publish >every< regional and local Seneschal and Baron/ess or >no<
regional and local Seneschals and Baron/ess. It is entirely too much
hassle on this office to publish some, but not all.
At the present time, none of the above is published on the Black Star
site. The Kingdom Chronicler removed it.
The online Black Star (http://www.oklahoma.net/~herron/BlackStar) is a
shadow of its former self. And at the rate things are going around
here, I'll be surprised if it lasts much longer.
The Regnum (a listing of the Greater Officers of State and the Crown),
the members of the Board of Directors, and the corporate officers are
already online at http://www.sca.org in the Inter-Kingdom Directory, so
this information is not within the controls of the Kingdom Chronicler's
Here's the questions that I'd like to throw open for discussion by this
august body. (Please note: this is not official, and I'm trying to
stay as far away from my office as I can within this letter.)
1) Does the standard Release for Publication (in your Black Star) grant
the permission to the Kingdom Chronicler to reproduce the material in
any official (Corporate-owned) SCA publication, including a Kingdom
Newsletter on the Web? (That's the legal question) And should it?
(That's the everyman's question).
2) How do we balance the privacy of warranted officers (to include
autocrats in event announcements) against the need for information? If
we completely remove the "official" SCA presence from the Web, then we
miss out on a segment of the population which may prove to be future
members of the Society. In addition, we contribute to a lack of
information about our organization (and give any opponents to the
Society a chance to make up whatever they want about us).
3) (Sorry for the legalese.) Does the Society for Creative
Anachronism, Inc., operating as a foreign corporation everywhere except
for the Northern California Non-Profit Corporation Act boundaries, have
a legal responsibility to disclose the names/addresses/phone numbers of
its corporation's officers within a particular area (e.g. a state)? If
so, are our local Seneschals (as the legal representatives of the
Society within their area) defined as the corporation's officers? And
is this information readily available to the general public (usually
through a request from the State Secretary's Office)?
4) What information >should< appear on the "official" SCA web site for
our area (in my case, http://www.ansteorra.org), or in an online
representation of the Kingdom Newsletter? Should Great Officers of
State reports be there? Lesser Officers of State? The Kingdom Calendar
(in an unofficial capacity)?
Remember, this is an unofficial exercise. I want to get some input from
a small segment of the Society before I try to advise the Kingdom
Chronicler on "where do we go from here".
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
HL William FitzBubba
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